EBRD assists Ukraine in achieving European standards in air navigation

By Anton Usov

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is providing a loan of up to €41 million to the Ukrainian State Air Traffic Service Enterprise (UkSATSE) to finance an air navigation system modernisation project, which is part of the harmonisation of UkSATSE’s standards of operations within the Single European Sky (SES) programme.

The project, which is expected to be co-financed with a parallel loan of a similar size from the European Investment Bank (EIB), will assist the country and the national air navigation service provider to achieve compliance with applicable EU standards, safety improvements and the capacity expansion. The project is focused on the replacement and modernisation of surveillance infrastructure at key airports. It will also finance the upgrade of voice communication and control systems and the construction of aerodrome towers at Kyiv Boryspil and Odessa airports. The main benefit expected from the project implementation is the improvement of the safety and reliability of Ukrainian airspace as well as an increase in flight efficiency for users.

The investment programme is to be supported by technical cooperation assistance aimed at assisting both the service provider and the sector regulator. It will help them meet obligations accepted under their membership in the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation (Eurocontrol) and the planned integration into the European Common Aviation Area and SES operational compliance.

The EBRD has been committed to the Ukrainian aviation sector development since 1998, when the Bank’s first loan in this sector facilitated Ukraine’s entry in 2004 into Eurocontrol. It thus became one of the few sectors of the national economy in the advanced stage of harmonisation with EU regulations by adopting the standards of regulatory and operational frameworks applicable to the air navigation sector in Europe.

The EBRD is the largest financial investor in Ukraine. As of the end of December 2012, the Bank had committed over €8 billion (US$ 10 billion) through 331 projects.